Brooke Pottery features fine ceramic crafts and a host of handmade doodads from more than 400 American artists. A glazed, tri-colored McQueeny Belt Bowl ($48) offers a fetching soup-holding alternative to cupped palms, while the Heart Coaster Set ($40) lovingly shields countertops from clammy cocktails and over-fizzed sodas. Decorate feng shui–deficient gardens with ash-wood Chi Energy Amber wind chimes ($35), or embellish tree limbs with colorful Aloha Chimes ($42). For kids, the Blues Band Harmonica ($7) provides hours of fun in the key of harmonica.
Now pack-free, the cigarette machines inside the Polk Museum of Art have been converted to Art-o-Mats, which distribute original artworks to help jump-start amateur collections. The pieces make fitting keepsakes from the nonprofit museum, whose own collection encompasses everything from pre-Columbian textiles to contemporary work by local artists. Other museum highlights include rare 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints, as well as ceramic plates made by Pablo Picasso that still bear his masterful tomato-sauce stains.
Alongside its core pieces, Polk rotates around 20 exhibitions throughout its nine galleries each year. To further foster Florida's artistic community, the museum hosts plenty of educational opportunities and events, including art classes and fairs that spotlight emerging Central Florida artists.
Linden Galleries' abundant selection of original artwork (starting at $20), print reproductions (starting at $20), and customized-framing solutions offer unlimited options with which to finally cover the shame of your scandalously exposed walls. Custom framing (starting at $50) is completed on-site in their Carrollwood Village gallery and comes with a choice of regular or acid-free matting and four types of glass (regular, reflection control, Plexiglas, and UV-shielding conservation glass) encased by the frame of your choice, from among Linden's 5,000-strong collection. Linden's talented framesmiths are also trained extensively in the frame-healing arts (starting at $20) and regularly employ their magical powers to mend fractured frames, fuse fissures in broken glass, and resurrect the lifelike vibrancy of sun-faded and mead-damaged photographs.
For the last 28 years, Mark Pulliam, artist and framist at The Artist Studio, has enclosed pictures, portraits, and paintings in customizable casings. Transform sitting rooms into Smithsonians by circumscribing canvases with a spectrum of frame and mat styles, ranging from traditional to modern and minimalist to ornate. Pricing for framing starts at $50 and varies depending on the presentation and size of the piece. Mark Pulliam also protects valued artwork with specialty preservation framing services that will defend self-portraits from the damaging effects of air, light, and lipsticky kisses from aggressive aunts and fan-club presidents.
The seeds of the educational coalition known as the Art & History Museums - Maitland were planted more than seven decades ago when architect J. André Smith founded the Research Studio, an artists' colony that cultivated such creators as Milton Avery, Ralston Crawford, and Doris Lee. The Research Studio eventually became the Maitland Art Center, a place where arts enthusiasts can check out a gallery exhibition, take a class, or practice tilting their berets just right. Next door is the Maitland Historical Museum, where locals can learn about the families who built the city—the Waterhouses, the Galloways, the Dommeriches, and the Hills. And that's not all, either. Next door to the history museum is the Telephone Museum, and further south is the Carpentry Shop Museum, a 19th century building filled with period woodworking tools and materials. Finally, next door to the Carpentry Shop sits the Waterhouse Residence Museum, set in the original building constructed by pioneer settler William H. Waterhouse.